Let God in

‘The crowd began pleading with Jesus to…leave them alone.’ Mark 5:17 NLT The Bible says when ‘those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs…the crowd began pleading with Jesus to…leave them alone’ (vv. 16-17 NLT). They had just witnessed an astounding miracle, yet here they were ‘pleading with Jesus to…leave them alone’. Maybe they were afraid He’d interfere with their work, like He did with the owner of the pigs. Or they thought He was so powerful and unpredictable they didn’t want Him messing with their lives. Either way, they wanted no part of what Jesus…

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Music

‘The people of God will sing a song of joy.’  Isaiah 30:29 NLT The Bible says: ‘How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!’ (Psalm 147:1 NIV). There's something about expressing our love for God in music and singing that helps us to reinforce our faith. When we've been singing praise and worship songs, we tend to come away feeling uplifted and closer to God. Paul knew the value of music. In 1 Corinthians 14:15, he wrote: ‘I will pray with my spirit; but I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with my…

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Your Real Motives

‘God examines every heart and sees through every motive.’ 1 Chronicles 28:9 MSG When Ananias and Sapphira saw their friends in the early Church selling their land and giving the money to the poor, they thought it was a great idea. In theory. So when they sold some land, they kept part of the money back for themselves. And then lied about it. ‘It’s all very lovely, but this is the real world. We’ve got the pet sheep to think about.’ They wanted the spiritual status without any of the personal cost, but Peter saw through it, saying, ‘You have not lied just to…

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Dead Appetites

‘I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.’ Psalm 63:1 NIVUK Ever get that thing when you don’t realise how hungry you are until you see a big-time burger or whopping mountain of pasta? And then suddenly you’re like, ‘Huh, yeah, I’m actually pretty hungry.’ It’s like that with God. When we first meet Him, we realise that He’s what we need, and that becomes desire. We start longing for Him. This is what happened with the writer of the psalm you read today. Have a close look at verse three.…

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Apologetic Wreck

‘The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome.’2 Timothy 2:24 NIV Defending the faith is called ‘apologetics’. And it gets a lot of stick because it can get pretty heated. But there are plenty of people/organisations that do it really, really right. So how do we do it *that* way? Well, there’s a huge difference between disagreeing with someone and outright attacking someone for thinking differently. The latter is A: not only something that God calls us away from but B: it’s also never going to be an effective way of getting people to re-think their opinion. Yes, when we’re comfortable that our stance…

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Mother’s Day

‘Her children … call her blessed; her husband … praises her.’Proverbs 31:28 NKJV If you saw today’s title and mentally ran a mile in the opposite direction - stick around for a min. Proverbs 31 is all about mothers (oh, by the way, if you hadn’t caught it yet, it’s Mother’s Day… sort your card and gift then come back to us ASAP). You’ve got a chunk of Proverbs 31 up at the top. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Almost the kind of lady you’d see on the cover of a recipe book. But as much as those sorts of ideas might be God’s…

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Refuge

I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”Psalm 55:6 NKJV Welcome to Psalm 55. Here we get an in-depth insight into what it’s like to be faced with trouble you can’t handle alone. Overcome with ‘fear and trembling’ (v. 5 NIV), David’s panicked words show a natural response to pain: run. Today we’re looking at a choice we have to make: run to something in our own strength, or rely on God. From normal but consuming-when-taken-too-far things like video games and social media, to damaging substances and habits, we can want to hide…

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Manipul-hate

‘Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.’ Romans 12:10 NLT Manipulation is when we put our own goals first, and deceive others into serving them. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It’s when we treat each other as chess pieces, as part of a plan, as bit-parts in the film of our own life. Manipulation is something we can do even without being fully aware of it. When we do, though, we stop seeing each other as valuable. Romans 12, where we’ve taken today’s verse from, is all about seeing, and treating, each other right. God seems to…

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